A manager’s challenge: Is external supervision more valuable than increased training money for staff?

Craig Holz


INTRODUCTION: Supervision is regarded as an integral necessity for the development and maintenance of professional standards in social workers and is also common practice in other health professions. There is debate, however, about the relative strengths of external and internal supervision. External supervision is recommended but there is a significant financial cost in contracting external supervisors. Also, some argue that internal supervision better manages staff and simplifies communication.

METHODS: This article provides a case study of an agency considering changing its supervision systems and the relative benefits and risks that need to be considered.

FINDINGS: Each agency needs to consider how to get the best from staff development resources considering the time or finances available. External supervision can offer wider choice to staff with more ethical issues debated. However, this may limit other staff development funding.

CONCLUSION: It is recommended that every agency regularly review how to get the best supervision for its staff.


Supervision; external supervision; internal supervision

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol31iss3id654


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